Working With The Moon
- Every magikal practitioner should know which days to work
and which to take off. Which moon phases are best for what kind
of casting and which are for rest. These guidelines are not cast
in stone and certainly if you have a friend in dire need of healing,
you don't need to wait until the next Waxing Moon to cast. But
for some of the best results, here are a few guidelines, interesting
tid-bits, and helpful information.
- Moon Facts
- Picture the movement of the moon in terms of a clock whose
hands are moving backward. The moon rests on the clock's hour
hand, Earth sits at the clock's center, while the sun shines
far off in the direction of 12 o'clock. As the moon orbits counterclockwise
around Earth, its position relative to the sun and Earth changes,
giving us the varied phases of the moon. Each phase of the moon
lasts approximately 5 days.
- The New Moon:
- The first phase in the lunar cycle is the new moon. The moon
is positioned between the sun and Earth at 12 o'clock. From Earth,
the sun and moon appear to be in the same part of the sky and
will rise and set together. The side of the moon that receives
the sun's light is facing away from Earth, so no moon is visible
to us on Earth's surface. On a very clear night, you might be
able to make out a faint gray outlined view of the moon. This
comes from the light of the sun being refracted off the Earth
and back out to the moon.
- One day after the new moon, a faint sliver outline can be
seen low on the western horizon at sunset. The moon has moved
from new to a waxing crescent phase. As the moon continues in
its counterclockwise orbit, the crescent grows larger, or waxes.
One week later, the moon reaches its second primary phase, the
first quarter moon. Accordingly, the moon has moved one quarter
of the way around Earth.
- The First Quarter:
- At the first quarter, the moon sits at 9 o'clock. The sun,
Earth, and moon form a right triangle on the left side of the
clock. Here only half of the moon's disk is illuminated. At first
quarter, the moon rises 6 hours after the sun at about
noon. It reaches its highest point at sundown and sets around
midnight. That means the moon can be seen during daylight hours
in the afternoon.
- For several days after first quarter, the moon continues
to wax but it is in a waxing gibbous phase instead of a waxing
crescent. A gibbous moon is more than a quarter moon but less
than a full moon. During this phase, the moon moves from 9 o'clock
to 6 o'clock on the dial, and the sun-Earth-moon angle is getting
larger just like the moon's phase.
- The Full Moon:
- When the moon reaches its 6 o'clock position, the phase is
full. The side of the moon that faces Earth is fully illuminated
that large circle of light a certain two-year-old child
(my son) called the moon ball. On the clock, the sun, Earth,
and moon form a straight line. From Earth, the sun and moon appear
to be at opposite ends of the sky. So as the sun sets, the moon
rises. The full moon is now visible all night.
- Once it's past full, the moon moves from 6 o'clock to 3 o'clock
and the sun-Earth-moon angle begins to shrink. The moon's phase
is also getting smaller. It's moving from waning gibbous to its
third- or last-quarter phase.
- The Last Quarter Moon:
- This third-quarter moon sits at 3 o'clock on the phase dial,
where the sun-Earth-moon angle is once again 90°, but this
time it's on the right side of the clock. From Earth, we see
half of the moon's disk illuminated the side opposite
as the one illuminated at first quarter. A third-quarter moon
rises about six hours after the sun sets, reaches its highest
point in the southern sky at dawn, and sets at about noon.
- As the moon orbits Earth (the inner circle) its position
relative to the sun and Earth changes. This causes the lunar
phases we see in our sky (the outer circle). In the week after
the third quarter, the moon moves through its waning crescent
phase to it's dark phase.
- The Dark Moon:
- About 3 to 5 days before the eventual return to the new moon
phase, where the cycle begins again, the moon enters a dark phase.
The moon sits at about 2:30 on the dial. Here the moon is neither
illuminated by the sun (in a crescent phase), nor is it able
to reflect the light of the sun providing an outline of it's
surface (as in the new moon phase). It is truly dark and seemingly
has disappeared from the sky.
- Working With The Phases Of The Moon
- Each phase of the moon brings with it a special energy for
that phase of the lunar cycle. Everyone knows the moon affects
the tides of the worlds oceans, but because we are mostly liquid
ourselves, these phases also affect us. Understanding what these
energies bring, help you to connect with and use those energies
in your magikal rituals, meditations and even your daily life.
- The New Moon phase is best used for personal growth, healing
and blessing of new projects or ventures. It's also a good time
to cleanse and consecrate new tools and objects you wish to use
during rituals, ceremonies or an up coming festival.
- - 1st Quarter -
- The Waxing moon is best used for attraction magik, inner
love spells, protection for couples and healing energy for couples.
What you want to attract to yourself and your path can be enhanced
during this phase of the moon.
- The Full Moon is best used for banishing unwanted influences
in your life. Think of it as 'shining a light' on issues or challenges.
It can also be a good time for creating protection magik and
performing divination. You can use this time for releasing old
patterns or issues, and open the door for healing by giving energy
to positive patterns you'll put in place. Full Moon magik can
be conjured during the 3 days prior to the rise of the Full Moon,
the night of the Full Moon and during the 3 days after.
- - Last Quarter -
- The Waning moon is used for banishing and rejecting those
things that influence us in a negative way. Negative emotions,
diseases, ailments, and bad habits can all be let go and special
spells for clearing negative energies from the self, home, ritual
circle, tools and so on can be performed at this time. Simply
remember that when you remove an energy, you want to fill the
void with a more positive energy. So this is also a good time
to consecrate the future with what you want it to be as you move
- - Void Of Course -
- The Dark Moon period occurs 3 days prior to the New Moon
and it's the shortest 'phase' of the moon. This is the time when
you can't see the moon in any phase. Typically no magik is performed
during this time. This is the time to give yourself a break,
to turn to self and pamper or replenish your own energies. Vision
quests and deep meditations are called for at this time to focus
on personal matters, questions and answers. The Void of
Course moon is not recognized through astronomical means, it's
purely a nature based observance or astrological phase.
- A Lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the Earth's
shadow. This type of eclipse does not occur every year. But when
it does, it's a wonderful and magikal night. It lasts for only
a few hours, so you need to plan your rituals well in advance.
A lunar eclipse on a full moon is perfect for all purposes. Simply
plan your spells to coordinate with the passing shadow. When
the moon is in full eclipse, treat those few moments as if the
moon were in it's Dark phase. Some practitioners forgo magik
work all together and use this time to honor the Goddess in a
- The Penumbral moon occurs when the moon passes into the outer
shadow of the earth. This type of eclipse is hard to spot unless
the moon is 70% into that shadow. These type of eclipses are
more common and generally occur at least once a year. When you
can see it, the lower part of the moon becomes distorted. During
a waning phase for instance, the lower half of the moon will
look blurred or smudged. Once again it's a special night. This
is the perfect night to honor the magik of the Goddess. No work
or casting, just thankfulness and gratitude.
- You can find a complete listing of this years Moon
Phases on the Pagan's Path moon calendar.
- The Blue Moon
- A "Blue Moon" occurs when two full moons happen
in one calendar month. Since the phase period of the moon is
29.5 days, you usually only have one full moon each month. But
each month it's a little earlier than the previous month and
eventually you'll find 2 full moons in a single month. This occurs
about every 2.5 years, and the second full moon is called the
"blue moon". There is no physical difference in appearance,
the second full moon looks like a regular full moon.
According to folklorists, the term "Blue Moon" is at
least 400 years old. The earliest known references to a blue
moon were intended as examples of improbable events or something
that could never happen. As time passed the expression evolved
to mean something that rarely or never happened. Hence the expression
"Once in a Blue Moon" which is still popular today.
- In the pagan community, the origins of the meaning of a Blue
Moon vary. And the legend or origin of these meanings cannot
be substantiated. However, some believe the second full moon
holds the knowledge of the Grandmother Goddess (or the Crone)
and therefore contains the wisdom of the 3-fold the energy. This
can be associated with the Goddess in her 3 forms of Maiden,
Mother, Crone. It can also be associated with the 3 natures of
self as Mind, Body, Spirit. In later evolutions as paganism began
to be influenced by Christianity, this moon was associated with
the Divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- In other pagan traditions the phases of the moon represent
the transition of knowledge within the Goddess. The quarter moons
representing the Maiden Goddess, the New Moon the Mother Goddess,
the Full Moon the Grand Mother Goddess (which maybe one reason
we refer to the moon as "Grandmother Moon". The Blue
Moon then is seen as the transition of the Grandmother or Crone
to the Divine level of existence. She becomes an expression of
evolution of wisdom, as well as an example of the circle of life.
- Another view is that the Blue Moon represents a time of heightened
or clearer communication between our physical being and the Divine.
Often the energy of the Divine is seen in the form of the Grandmother
Goddess or the Crone Goddess. It can also be viewed as a link
between the physical (masculine energy) and the spiritual (feminine
energy), making communication with spirit easier and more apt
to yield insightful and enlightened communications.
Red Blood Moon
- According to NASA and "folklore, October's full moon
is called the "Hunter's Moon" or sometimes the "Blood
Moon." It gets its name from hunters who tracked and killed
their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter
ahead. You can picture them: silent figures padding through the
forest, the moon overhead, pale as a corpse, its cold light betraying
the creatures of the wood."
- There are many different correspondence tables for Moon
Names. But most do agree on the alias "Blood Moon"
during the three months of fall when hunting and harvesting take
- Today the Blood Moon is typically associated with the first
full moon nearest the Autumn Equinox, for us in the Northern
Hemisphere that occurs in October. But it can occur as early
as September (The Fruit Moon), and as late as November (The Beaver
Moon) as the Earth tilts back away from the sun. Consequently
these same affects can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere on
the opposite side of the year, corresponding to the full moons
of March, April and May.
Observances During The Blood Moon:
- During the autumn months, The Blood Moon represents abundance,
hunting, gathering and preparing for the cold winter months.
It's a time to honor the Harvest and Hunting Gods/Goddesses.
Many festivals take place during this time to give thanks and
appreciation for the bounty and stockpiles of plenty gathered
by a clan or tribe. The Feast of the Hunter's Moon is a long
standing practice in Indiana where a living Native American history
re-enactment takes place. But similar events can be found around
the world and with varying names.
From a magikal point of view, the same concepts can be enacted
today for these full moons rituals. They can be used to bring
abundance into your life in the form of finances, harvest, health,
friendship and love. And to give thanks and honoring the blessings
of the Harvest.
A Blood Moon Eclipse:
- Occasionally, we can find a rare Blood Moon lunar eclipse.
This can occur anytime of the year. But how does it happen? Well
the Earth casts a long shadow that extends out into space. When
the moon passes behind the Earth, opposite of the Sun, (in other
words Earth is in the middle), we cast a long shadow that hides
the moon. That's what a lunar eclipse is.
Now let's say you had a space ship and traveled out between the
Earth and the Moon during an eclipse. Look out the window back
at Earth and you'll be looking at the dark side. The Earth will
be in silhouette and what you're seeing is every sunrise and
sunset on Earth--all at once. This ring of light shines into
Earth's shadow, breaking the utter darkness you might expect
to find there. Turn off the cockpit lights and look at the Moon
and there's a lovely red glow.
What's in the Earths atmosphere will also affect the color or
shade of red reflected on the Moon. According to NASA, following
a volcanic eruption, for instance, dust and ash can turn global
sunsets vivid red. The moon would glow vivid red, too. Lots of
clouds, on the other hand, extinguish sunsets, leading to darker,
dimmer eclipses. The Moon can shine as Pumpkin Orange to Deep
Blood Red all depending on the Earth's weather or natural events.
Observances During The Blood Moon Eclipse:
- Since an eclipse is an extra special event, it has a special
energy and observance. Especially when it's a rare Blood Moon
eclipse. These special occasions are used for honoring and celebrating
life, or the blood flow of life. This energy of the moon can
be used to energize fertility, abundance, or communicate with
- Gardening By Moon Sign
- Placement of the moon in the heavens through astrology is
not the same as it's physical placement through astronomy. In
earlier times, farmers used a solar, lunar and astrological calendar
to ensure the proper planting period for their gardens and fields.
Here in the U.S. Benjamin Franklin published the first horoscopes
in his Philadelphia daily, which included a monthly entry concerning
The water signs are the best for planting. When the moon is in
Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces are the best times. But Taurus, Virgo
and Capricorn can be follow-up alternatives.
Weeding and Plowing
When the moon moves into Aries, Gemini, Leo Sagittarius and Aquarius,
remove weeds and inspect your plants for pests.
Transplanting and Grafting
Transplanting and Grafting are best done when the moon enters
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
Pruning is best done during Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. Try to
schedule your pruning during a waxing moon to encourage growth.
Keep it clean and mended
Clean out your shed during a Virgo moon to help the work move
along smoothly. Mend fences, gardening stakes and beds during
a Capricorn moon.
Avoid making decisions when the moon is in Libra.
- When The Moon Rises
- Moon rises occur about 50 minutes later each day than the
day before. Moon rises can occur at night as well as during the
day. But the best way to put it into memory is a good ole time
- The new Moon always rises at sunrise
- And the first quarter at noon.
- The full Moon always rises at sunset
- And the last quarter at midnight.
- Grand Mother Moon:
- Additional reading:
With The Moon
Monthly Full Moon / Moon Names
Calendars - A Short History
- 2008 Farmers Almanac,
- US Navel Observatory:
Phases & Earth
Eclipse Website, Space.com
- Created: 11.01.1999